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Closure of Foxley Lane Women’s Service

We have learned of the potential closure of Foxley Lane Women’s Service in Purley. (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).


Unfortunately, due primarily to lack of funding and changes to mental health services in Croydon, the Croydon CCG have made the decision to decommission Foxley Lane. This follows Croydon Health recently going into special measures due to poor finances.


Foxley Lane women’s service was opened in 1999 as an alternative to psychiatric hospital admission for women suffering a mental health crisis. It was developed through an extensive process of consultation with women service users, women’s organisations, the local community a range of agencies in Croydon.


What these stakeholders wanted was safe, holistic, effective care for the women of Croydon who by the nature of their difficulties are extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged when in crisis. They wanted this care to be delivered by women, as experience then and now suggests that for a large many women receiving care in an environment where men are present adds to their difficulties and makes them actively avoid treatment until they hit rock bottom – thus taking longer to recover.


Foxley Lane Women’s Service has been evaluated through research and consistently is shown to provide a high quality of care for very unwell women, it can demonstrate good clinical outcomes and research showed that women would choose to go there rather than to psychiatric hospital.


The current team are concerned about the impact this closure will have on the service users, and also the fact that it provides specialist gender sensitive care to the most vulnerable.


The unit will be going into a consultation period now and there is an opportunity for us all to respond to the CCG with opinions on this closure:


·         The next Public meeting for Croydon CCG is Tue Nov 1st 2-4pm at  Croydon College CR9 1DX.

·         Feedback can be left on Croydon CCG website, and there is also a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) reference group can be contacted by email:


The plan from Croydon CCG is to improve community services so that admission to hospital can be avoided. This, in theory is a great idea, but in reality the women who are admitted to the service, have reached such a place that it is no longer safe for them to be managed in the community. In future without Foxley Lane they will be admitted to an acute ward at the Bethlem hospital, Beckenham, although, because of such a shortage of beds there, they will more likely be sent to a private hospital that could be anywhere in the country, and in the longer term will cost more money.